8/16/2020 被囚仍有盼望的人 (There Is Still Hope When Imprisoned)
by 鍾卓權牧師 (Rev. Bernie Chung)
大約在撒迦利亞書第八章所記載的事蹟之後的四十年，耶和華的默示再次臨到先知撒迦利亞。 那時從巴比倫回歸的猶大餘民已完成重建聖殿的工程，但仍然受到外國勢力的威脅。在撒迦利亞書第九章提到耶和華的三個默示，第一節到第八節預言在猶大及以色列北部的哈得拉至南部非利士一帶地區將會受到神的審判，儘管他們有極大的智慧和能力，但最終都將滅亡。這默示大概在150 年之後，也就是在主前334 年之際，亞歷山大大帝從土耳其出兵前往巴勒斯坦南征的時候，與本章前七節所征服的城市地區的順序是相互吻合，但我們知道，亞歷山大大帝乃是上帝手中作為審判的工具。猶大以色列餘民此時相當軟弱渺小，但是上帝不容許敵軍再次侵犯他們，第八節耶和華上帝說：「因我現在親眼看顧他們」。回顧以色列民族的歷史我們就知道上帝親眼眷顧這個民族的事實。
第九節上帝宣告說：「錫安的居民哪！要大大喜樂。耶路撒冷的居民哪！應當歡呼。看哪！你的王來到你這裡了，他是公義的，是得勝的。他又是溫柔的，他騎著驢，騎的是小驢」。這個預言是在二千年前，聖子耶穌基督道成肉身，也就是四福音書中的記錄，主耶穌以王的身份，謙和地騎著驢進入耶路撒冷，得以實現主耶穌親臨在我們中間的預言。在第11 和12 節，上帝繼續宣告說：「錫安哪！至於你，因著我與你立約的血，我把你中間被囚禁的人從無水的坑裡釋放出來。你們被囚 仍有 盼望的人哪！要歸回保障」。換言之，上帝將會使猶大以色列子民得自由 得釋放，返回他們的故土和耶路撒冷，並最終恢復他們與上帝的關係。這是指主耶穌在十字架上捨身流出寶血，完成了救贖恩典，讓我們與神和好。
在第13 節中，提到以色列子民與希臘人爭戰，在主前第二世紀馬加比時代猶太人起義脫離對抗希臘的統治。耶和華默示的第三件事是祂應許復興祂的子民，說：「到那日，耶和華他們的 神必拯救他們，待他的子民好像羊群一樣，因為他們必像冠冕上的寶石，閃耀在他的地上。 他們將是多麼的善，多麼的美；五穀和新酒使少男少女生氣蓬勃」。
About forty years after the events in Zechariah Ch. 8, God's inspiration came to Zechariah. By then, Israel had completed the reconstruction of the temple, but she was still being threatened and afflicted by foreign forces. Jehovah inspired three things that would happen in Zechariah Ch. 9. Verses 1 through 8, God declared that area of Hadrach in the north of Judah and Israel, and the Philistine land in the south would be judged. Even though these tribal regions and entities were wise and able, they would be swallowed by enemies. This corresponds to about 150 years later in 334 BC, when Alexander the Great set out his conquest from present-day Turkey to Palestine. The order of the regions and cities conquered matches the descriptions in Ch. 9, vv.1-7. We should also realize even the mighty Alexander the Great is only a tool of judgement in God's hands. Although the remnant people of Judah and Israel felt weak and insignificant at that time, God would not allow the enemy to invade them again. In v.8, Jehovah God says: "Never again will an oppressor overrun my people, for now I am keeping watch." When we look back on the history of Israel, we know that Alexander the Great’s army had repeatedly passed through Jerusalem without invading them. This is the fact that God took care of His people by keeping watch.
In verse 9 God declares the second thing: "Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey". This prophecy of two thousand years ago was fulfilled when the Son of God Jesus Christ became flesh. According to the Four Gospels, the Lord Jesus came to us by humbly riding a donkey into Jerusalem and was exalted as a king. In verses 11 and 12, God goes on to declare: "As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit. Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you”. In other words, God will set free the people of Judah and Israel to return to their land and Jerusalem. Ultimately the Israelites would turn back to God and restore their relationship with Him. On the cross the Lord Jesus shed His precious blood and fulfilled the salvation grace, allowing us to reconcile with God.
In verse 13, it is mentioned that the people of Israel were fighting against the Greeks. In fact, between 170-150 BC, Maccabee rebelled against Greece; a fact also recorded in history. The third thing that Jehovah has inspired was that He promised to restore his people: "The Lord their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. How attractive and beautiful they will be! Grain will make the young men thrive, and new wine the young women.” (hairahceZ 71-61:9 VIN)
Brothers and Sisters, take heart! Our God wishes to establish a relationship with us and to bless us. Have mercy on us, Dear Lord. Your promise never fails. We are Your people of hope despite being imprisoned by the epidemic. Amen!